DID YOU READ

Scott Aukerman Talks Comedy Bang! Bang! Season 2 and His “Rivalry” with Zach Galifianakis

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By T Sahara Meer

Well, Christmas in July! At least that’s how we’re feeling today, on the eve of Comedy Bang! Bang!’s return to IFC tomorrow at 10/9c. And like Santa in his workshop, creator/host Scott Aukerman has been carefully crafting Season 2 for the enjoyment of boys and girls all over the world — and the best part is, he doesn’t give a damn who’s naughty or nice. Incredibly, we were able to catch up with the uber-busy Aukerman — actually, it wasn’t that hard, he’s been on a media blitzkrieg all week. But before you get your chance to ask him all sorts of ridiculous questions yourself during his Twitter Q & A tomorrow at 9:30 PM ET/ 6:30 PM PT, we wanted a crack at him first. So read on, Bang! Bang! fans, and then just one more sleep until the big day…

What new things can viewers look forward to seeing on Season 2 of Comedy Bang! Bang!?

You know when IFC came to us and said you can make new episodes, that was the first thing we decided to do — to make them new. We decided not to just rerun the old ones. Practically, every frame is new this year. Although, sometimes we did get a little lazy and were like, “Let’s just throw some of the old frames in there.” But practically every word that we say is new. And when I say that, I mean we’re creating new words on the show this year. We decided not to be lazy and use any word that we used last year. So if you hear us use a word that we used last year — if you catch us because we slip up — then you can win 80 brand new Hyundais. Some contests only give away one car, we’re giving away 80. Pretty exciting.

Is it revealing too much to tell us some of the new words that you’ve created for Season 2?

Well, we use “flanderfoodle” once. You see, once we use a new word, we can’t use it the rest of the season. So something like “farfenoogle” — which we were so excited about when we came up with it — because when you hear it, it just so accurately reflected what was going on. It’s like when you come up with a word like “Kleenex.” And it’s like, “Yes! I’m going to blow my nose into a ‘Kleenex’ — of course I am!” It just fits, you know. So when we came up with that word that we came up with, we were like, “Oh, this is so perfect for what is happening right now.” But, then, we can’t use it again. So when we felt that way again, we had to come up with something new like “brackenbrickle” — and it just wasn’t the same.

If you had to pick just one, what would your favorite moment be from Season 1?

I really like the final episode, the green screen episode. That’s one where we got a little bit crazier and had a huge concept for the show. I think that in Season 2, we’re going to be doing a lot more stuff like that. Just the fact that we were able to do 20 episodes, we were able to stretch out and really tackle some bigger ideas this year. And also some weightier topics. In the conversations this year, some really heavy stuff comes up. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? I’ll let the viewers decide. They can sound off on their Twitter and leave their comments below.

How has your relationship with Reggie Watts evolved in your time working together on the show?

I think it’s deepened. I think that the emotional exercises that we do before taping the show where we sit and face each other and touch knees — it goes without saying that we take off all of our clothes before we do this — and we gaze into each other’s eyes and we tell each other what we appreciate about each other. You can’t do that with a person without feeling closer to them. It’s much like in Cat’s Cradle, touching feet. We don’t go that far because feet are disgusting. But it’s been this thing where we have developed a real friendship, not just a TV friendship. In Season 2, you can tell in the first couple of episodes, it’s still just TV friendship. But then there’s this moment in Season 2, when it’s like boom!, all of a sudden: real friendship — and I hope that viewers can tell exactly when that is.

The new promos for Season 2 feature the tagline “the ultimate comedy fantasy” with you as a centaur and Reggie riding your back. Has that been a fantasy of yours?

Well, that’s not fantasy. That’s reality. We had to shoot that for the poster. I had to remove my glamour which prevents human beings from seeing me as a centaur and reveal my true self to the world. But Reggie and I have gotten close enough where he felt comfortable getting on my back. So it’s not really a fantasy at all. My fantasy is to appear as a human. That’s why I purchased that expensive glamour from a witch. So I’m living out my fantasy every day, but the reality is that I’m just a dirty, gross centaur.

Prior to Comedy Bang! Bang!, you were more of a behind-the-scenes guy (writing, producing). How has your life changed since becoming a TV star?

Yeah, I hated being in the scenes. I wanted to stay behind them. But there are all sorts of perks you get as a celebrity. There’s a celebrity internet, that only celebrities are allowed on. You have to type in wingdings. It’s a little bit harder, but it’s so exclusive. Oh, and the other issue with it is when you log on, it’s dial up. So it’s a pain in the ass, really, but the exclusivity of it just feels so damn good. And, you know, having every human on earth recognize me when I go out on the street can be a little distracting. Especially for them, because any city I travel in, work stops. Everyone puts down their protractors and their jackhammers — I think I just covered both ends of the job spectrum with those two items. [Laughs] But, really, they just sit and stare at me, mouths agape. I’m into it. So if you see me on the street, don’t try to talk to me, just sit and stare, slack jawed, at me. That’s what I really appreciate. And bow. Do one of those Japanese, full bows to the waist, not just one of those tiny head nods. Have your mouth agape and bow to the waist and I will now that you are a true Comedy Bang! Bang! fan.

You created another talk show, “Between Two Ferns” with Zach Galifianakis. Is there any kind of rivalry between you and Zach about who’s a better host?

I think that Zach would concede that I’m a far better host than he. What he gets in return is that he is incredibly rich and a movie star. So, we all have our specialties in life: His is being a movie star and being one of the richest men on earth, and I get to be the better host. Hey! I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

You have quite an impressive array of celebrities coming up on the show — Jessica Alba, Sarah Silverman, Jason Schwartzman. How did you select your guests?

They’re very lucky when they are selected. We have a randomizer. It’s kind of a computer-generated number randomizer. We put every celebrity that exists into the computer and we assign them a number. George Clooney! Hey, you’re number 3,487, for instance. Then we mix them all up. You never know who’s going to pop out of that randomizer, but whatever number we pick, we just slot them right into the show. We were lucky this year, quite frankly, because there were some really D, E and F celebrities in that thing. But we got so lucky with who the computer picked this year. You can’t imagine the celebration that went on in the office when Jessica Alba’s name come up. It was like, “Oh! Oh my god. Thank goodness! It could have been Snooki.”

As a writer, producer, podcaster, you seem to have worked with every comedian in Hollywood. Is there any comic you don’t know but would like to meet?

I would love to have Chris Elliot on the show. I emailed with him once. His stuff on Late Night With David Letterman and his work in Cabin Boy and his books have all been great influences on me. We’ve tried to have him on the show both seasons and it didn’t work out. I would love to have him, and I say that in utter sincerity. Last year, someone asked me a similar question and I said “Pee Wee Herman” and it came true. So, I’m just going to put it out there: Chris Elliot, come on the show!

Comedy Bang! Bang! returns to IFC on Friday, July 12 at 10/9c

Want the latest news from Comedy Bang! Bang!? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter@comedybangbang and use the hashtag #cbbtv.

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Holiday Extra Special

Make The Holidays ’80s Again

Enjoy the holiday cheer Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Whatever happened to the kind of crazy-yet-cozy holiday specials that blanketed the early winter airwaves of the 1980s? Unceremoniously killed by infectious ’90s jadedness? Slow fade out at the hands of early-onset millennial ennui? Whatever the reason, nixing the tradition was a huge mistake.

A huge mistake that we’re about to fix.

Announcing IFC’s Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special, starring Tony Hale. It’s a celeb-studded extravaganza in the glorious tradition of yesteryear featuring Bridget Everett, Jo Firestone, Nick Thune, Jen Kirkman, house band The Dap-Kings, and many more. And it’s at Joe’s Pub, everyone’s favorite home away from home in the Big Apple.

The yuletide cheer explodes Wednesday December 21 at 10P. But if you were born after 1989 and have no idea what void this spectacular special is going to fill, sample from this vintage selection of holiday hits:

Andy Williams and The NBC Kids Search For Santa

The quintessential holiday special. Get snuggly and turn off your brain. You won’t need it.

A Muppet Family Christmas

The Fraggles. The Muppets. The Sesame Street gang. Fate. The Jim Henson multiverse merges in this warm and fuzzy Holiday gathering.

Julie Andrews: The Sound Of Christmas

To this day a foolproof antidote to holiday cynicism. It’s cheesy, but a good cheese. In this case an Alpine Gruyère.

Star Wars Holiday Special

Okay, busted. This one was released in 1978. Still totally ’80s though. And yes that’s Bea Arthur.

Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special

Pass the eggnog, and make sure it’s loaded. This special is everything you’d expect it to be and much, much more.

Joe’s Pub Presents: A Holiday Special premieres Wednesday December 21 at 10P on IFC.

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It Ain't Over Yet

A Guide to Coping with the End of Comedy Bang! Bang!

Watch the final episodes tonight at 11 and 11:30P on IFC.

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After five seasons and 110 halved-hour episodes, Scott Aukerman’s hipster comedy opus, Comedy Bang! Bang!, has come to an end. Fridays at 11 and 11:30P will never be the same. We know it can be hard for fans to adjust after the series finale of their favorite TV show. That’s why we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide to managing your grief.

Step One: Cry it out

It’s just natural. We’re sad too.
Scott crying GIF

Step Two: Read the CB!B! IMDB Trivia Page

The show is over and it feels like you’ve lost a friend. But how well did you really know this friend? Head over to Comedy Bang! Bang!’s IMDB page to find out some things you may not have known…like that it’s “based on a Civil War battle of the same name” or that “Reggie Watts was actually born with the name Theodore Leopold The Third.”

Step Three: Listen to the podcast

One fascinating piece of CB!B! trivia that you might not learn from IMDB is that there’s a podcast that shares the same name as the TV show. It’s even hosted by Scott Aukerman! It’s not exactly like watching the TV show on a Friday night, but that’s only because each episode is released Monday morning. If you close your eyes, the podcast is just like watching the show with your eyes closed!

Step Four: Watch brand new CB!B! clips?!

The best way to cope with the end of Comedy Bang! Bang! is to completely ignore that it’s over — because it’s not. In an unprecedented move, IFC is opening up the bonus CB!B! content vault. There are four brand new, never-before-seen sketches featuring Scott Aukerman, Kid Cudi, and “Weird Al” Yankovic ready for you to view on the IFC App. There’s also one right here, below this paragraph! Watch all four b-b-bonus clips and feel better.

Binge the entire final season, plus exclusive sketches, right now on the IFC app.

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Everybody Sweats Now

The Four-Day Sweatsgiving Weekend On IFC

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This long holiday weekend is your time to gobble gobble gobble and give heartfelt thanks—thanks for the comfort and forgiveness of sweatpants. Because when it comes right down to it, there’s nothing more wholesome and American than stuffing yourself stupid and spending endless hours in front of the TV in your softest of softests.

So get the sweats, grab the remote and join IFC for four perfect days of entertainment.

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It all starts with a 24-hour T-day marathon of Rocky Horror Picture Show, then continues Friday with an all-day binge of Stan Against Evil.

By Saturday, the couch will have molded to your shape. Which is good, because you’ll be nestled in for back-to-back Die Hard and Lethal Weapon.

Finally, come Sunday it’s time to put the sweat back in your sweatpants with The Shining, The Exorcist, The Chronicles of Riddick, Terminator 2, and Blade: Trinity. They totally count as cardio.

As if you need more convincing, here’s Martha Wash and the IFC&C Music Factory to hammer the point home.

The Sweatsgiving Weekend starts Thursday on IFC

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